Counselling / Therapy

Discussion in 'Bring your Head Inside and your Body will Follow' started by Micci, 16 April 2011 Social URL.

  1. Micci

    Micci Gold Member

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    Hi,

    I wondered if a thread all about our experiences would be useful.

    Both for people in therapy to share how it is for us as individuals and for those who are considering it so they get more of an idea of the process.

    If it would be a good thing I'm happy to share what goes on for me in a session but its very personal and I don't particularly want to stick my head above the parapet without knowing that others will join in and/or benefit.

    What is the verdict?
     
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  3. sugar_lipswales

    sugar_lipswales Silver Member

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    I've just finished a course of 6 counselling sessions with the counsellor at my doctors surgery and found it to be a bit strange at first, I actually got half way through and had a little wobble about whether or not to continue but I'm glad I did. He taught me a few techniques for recognising when I'm feeling the physiological effects of anxiety and how to manage them. We also went through Transactional Analysis, the constant communication taking place between us all the time which gives you a better understanding of how to manage situations better. All in all a positive experience and even though I would probably have benefited from more sessions I'm feeling much calmer and happier x
    Good thread!
     
  4. Micci

    Micci Gold Member

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    Thanks Sugar Lipswales,

    thanks. What techniques were you taught for managing anxiety?

    My sessions are longer term and my counsellor doesn't give advice or techniques unless specifically asked. I was given an NLP technique called anchoring whereby I remembered a very confidant and positive experience. Really remembered it, trying to recall everything with all my senses and then made a physical gesture that would help me remember that time and regain that feeling of strength etc. I'd read about it before but not managed it without being talked through it.

    My sessions work with the counsellor listening intently as I monologue and she prompts me with questions if I get stuck or am missing something that she notices.

    Last week I had a very intense session and I'd like to share a little of it.

    I went in with three things on my mind to discuss, a disturbing dream, the fact that I had been binging again and the fact that at my last session I had started to realise how afraid I am and how I hide that fact.

    We started by my exploring my dream, it evolved from how it was in my incompletely remembered dream with a family member who had to be locked up, to a shapeless blob hiding away that I identified with. I was trying to lock it away and trying to escape and be free at the same time. With prompting from my counsellor I realised it was an aspect of myself that I had been denying - my fears and guilt and shame. As I worked (really a monologue helped by relevant questions) on this I saw it as almost a jigsaw shaped part that would fit into my body and realised that until I was whole and acknowledged the parts of me I don't want I could not be really strong and balanced and complete.

    I was rather cross to discover that this was work I still needed to do as a few years back I did quite a lot of this, particularly I remember working on my 'dark side' so explored this as well and acknowledged various difficult parts of my life that had been triggers for me losing contact with what is going on in my inner world.
     
  5. cactus

    cactus Gold Member

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    I was watching the sopranos there - tv show - and in it the main character goes every week to therapy and his therapist goes to a therapist herself :D i guess it is a good thing, if only it was free - sit down and yap about all your problems and things in your subconscious etc... come out - they say a problem shared is a problem halved
     
  6. Micci

    Micci Gold Member

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    Hi Cactus,

    if you are interested in this, it is possible to find low cost counselling as all counsellors need a certain amount of hours they have to do before they can get their final qualification.

    Another route in is co-counselling whereby two people take it in turns for one to be the 'client' and other to be the 'counsellor'. It is worth taking a course in how to do it and then you link up with other people in the movement. Have a look at this site: Re-evaluation Counseling - Home Page . I should say that this organisation and its founder have attracted some criticism, but I also have know people who have greatly benefited from it.

    There is a bit more to it than just talking about your problems, it can be quite surprising what can surface when a person talks with someone who has good listening skills.
     
  7. cactus

    cactus Gold Member

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    There is a bit more to it than just talking about your problems, it can be quite surprising what can surface when a person talks with someone who has good listening skills.


    I dont understand - what else would you talk about?

    Do you not think though that you 'would get what you pay for' ie: the top shrinks would be able to get right inside your head and take everything out of it.
     
  8. Micci

    Micci Gold Member

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    :) :) I'm not sure I would want everything taken out of my head, I want to retain some control, more :)

    Tbh, I'm not sure about 'top shrinks' We were looking for some very specialist skills for someone close and went to the top person in the field. Well, we actually got as far as exchanging a few emails but were put off as we could not afford her. Many many people in these sort of caring professions operate a partly sliding scale or have a consessionary place or two for people on low incomes.

    This woman charged £300 an hour, the assessments we needed would have cost just over £1000 and it was totally impossible. We explained we were a low income family and did she do any concessions and she said no, it would cost her too much. Fortunately we got the support we needed on the NHS.

    I'm telling this story as I would far rather have a therapeutic relationship with someone I felt was doing it beause they care about their clients, even if it is in a professional sense.

    Tbh, there are many sorts of therapy and counselling and some sorts suit different people better and its possible that you and a particular counsellor might not work well together but I would not assume that paying lots will get the best.

    Regarding not just talking about your problems - maybe that is how some sorts of therapy works, I am no expert. But I know that some weeks I have gone in feeling good and started off by saying what a fraud I felt as I felt I had nothing I was worrying about that week. These sessions have still given me some interesting insight as to how my mind is working.

    I don't get profound insights every week, and I don't come out of a session every week feeling new strength. I always feel I have benefitted though. For me it a long term process towards refinding my inner strength and contentment and I doubt I could cope with a very profound session every week.

    This interests me a lot. How is it for everyone else?

    If you have a fixed length of sessions like Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, is it always problem based? I know its a way of changing the way you think about different situations.
     
  9. Pomooky125

    Pomooky125 Silver Member

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    Hi

    I attended very low key counselling sessions at my GP's. The person I saw gave me an initial assessment and then handed me some workbooks with questionnaires in them and examples of anxiety, depression etc and I had to respond by saying how I thought they could have been handled. Each session she would ask me to answer the same questions and then tot up the score. You were then passed on to another workbook. I found it too simplistic and it was similar to working through reading books in primary school! - I know how I should react in this type of situation but if I could do that I wouldn't have needed help in the first place.

    She said she wasn't there to talk about my past and that it wasn't talking therapy. She also said she wasn't there for eating disorders as such, only to help with anxiety, stress etc. It was all about "dealing with unhelpful thoughts" and "changing habits". Whilst I do suffer from anxiety, I don't consider myself to be depressed and I was really looking for some CBT and someone to unload my thoughts to. I began to binge when a lot of awful things happened at once and then just carried on doing it at the same time each night because it had become a habit. I quite often binge when I'm in a good mood so I decided this therapy wasn't really what I was looking for and that I would try to go it alone.

    I have made some progress and don't binge as often, mainly by distracting myself, changing routines etc. I have read books on the anchor technique etc but when I want to binge, I completely ignore rational thinking and would not stop to do the "anchor" or anything else. I don't think I will seek out any more therapy, the best thing for me has been to avoid the kitchen and the triggers contained in it.

    I wouldn't want to put anyone off seeking therapy, I just think the self-therapy/workbook thing wasn't for me. :sigh:

    Pomooky XX
     
  10. Micci

    Micci Gold Member

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    Pomooky,

    I so understand about that not wanting to be distracted when the urge to binge hits. I too know techniques that would be useful at that time, if I wanted to! Instead my internal dialogue goes along the lines of , yup its quite possible that in 10 minutes I will regret this but right now I don't give a monkey's! And then I cram in what is in front of me, the packet it was in and the nails that held it in place in the cupboard :)

    I suspect the real answer, for me anyway, comes long before that stage hits and not to get there in the first place. Which for me seems to be happening more and more thank goodness but I know I'm not there yet, not totally.

    Your sessions from the GP seem so not what you needed, the NHS seems so bad at providing what people so desperately need. My husband is bi-polar but it wasn't diagnosed till very recently and he self medicated (as they say) with all sorts, including becoming an alchoholic. He's been to the crisis team at the local A&E and they have been great, with daily visits for him but long term, the support just hasn't happened - he's been so desperate that he's tried to get himself sectioned but they reckoned that although he was suicidal the fact that he got himself to A&E rather than under a train showed he wasn't really a risk to himself. So away he went with another 6 weeks of intensive support, then 6 weeks of alchohol related counselling and then sweet FA. He does get medication but handled by the GP who is not well versed in psychiatric medication and he does need 'talking therapy' too. as well as more supervision with the medication.

    Sorry, I'm feeling a bit angry about the lack of support at the moment and seeing how you didn't get what you needed has triggered me off.

    There is an Australian site that does an online CBT work book, but the only time I tried it was a couple of years back when I was very down and it kept telling me I needed professional help. I mentioned this to the Child and Mental Health Team we were seeing for my son, did they follow it up .. nah ....

    I consider myself very fortunate that we do have this low cost community counselling near me that I go to now. In retrospect maybe I was too upbeat to Cactus about the availability of low cost non-NHS counselling and therapy. I know its there and I do know that some therapists do a sliding scale but when you are really down its not easy to hunt for these things.
     
  11. Micci

    Micci Gold Member

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    ... update .. googling can be useful ... I just tried 'low cost therapy london' and got lots of useful looking leads ...
     
  12. spangles

    spangles Bouncy Castle

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    I had therapy though my GP when I was in the most serious throws of my Binge Eating Disorder. Despite the fact that she was an actual psychiatrist, the therapy was very generalised and just chat, really.

    I'm just about to start the Camridge diet, and the reason I chose that over Lighter Life is I want some really good quality therapy, which i'll pay for out of the difference in price between LL and CD, and the extra i'll be saving on my wine bill! Not sure what type i will go for, but CAT, TA and Gestalt all seem appealing in different ways. I need to do more research really.
     
  13. jessiemurf

    jessiemurf Full Member

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    I tried counselling last year at my GP surgery when i was going through a rough patch, i didnt find it overly usefull to be honest. There was long waiting lists and i could only get an appointment to see her every 5 or 6 weeks. She was nice though, it was just like having a chat really. I felt rather uncomfortable telling a stranger my problems though. In the end i gave up seeing her and my friends helped me out A LOT instead. My family were a bit useless and fobbed me off to the councellor so they didnt have to talk about it with me. My friends were a great help.
     
  14. Micci

    Micci Gold Member

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    I've heard good things about the Cambridge counselling, a friend was one of their counsellors and moved on to make counselling in general her life. With more trainig of course. I hope it works well for you.
     
  15. Micci

    Micci Gold Member

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    Yes, differents ways help different people. I'm glad your friends were able to help. Maybe your family were to close and felt uncomfortable with what you had to say?
     
  16. jessiemurf

    jessiemurf Full Member

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    Yes i think so hun, we are a VERY close family and they always help me out but they felt i needed help of a counsellor as they didnt understand the situation i was in and didnt know how to help me. I think everyone has different ways of dealing with problems some can benefit from it and other don't.
     
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